Saturday, June 30, 2007

New Thing #97: Stop Your Bridgein

Today's original plan was to walk across the Williamsburg Bridge after finishing my matinee today. I didn't bother to look up the actual street location of the bridge. I somehow had it in my head that since the L runs along 14th street into W-burg, the bridge was in that area too. So I walked up there, and was in the middle of getting frustrated with not finding it when Kevin happened to call. He looked it up, and it turns out the Williamsburg Bridge starts on Delancey Street. "I don't want to go down there," I whined, because it was hot and I didn't have all day. So what does a girl do when presented with something she doesn't want to do? She does it anyway. After finding the on-ramp at Delancey, I walked across the Williamsburg Bridge. I definitely like the Brooklyn Bridge, which I've walked at least 10 times, so much better. It's a prettier bridge with nicer views and fewer bars and fences, and the non-automobile traffic is better organized. What I did like is that you can walk right along the JMZ train. Seeing trains above ground is always a fun novelty.

Friday, June 29, 2007

New Thing #96: I AM a Weiner!

Me, with guest host Tim Vincent of Access Hollywood trying unsuccessfully to charm my pants off.

Today I watched the conclusion of my stint on 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire,' then randomly drew a coworker's name and favorite charity out of a hat and will be donating 1% of my winnings to the Brooklyn Animal Foster Network. The show doesn't air on the West Coast until 7 pm, and I don't want to spoil it for my friends and family there, so I'll post the outcome later.
Edit: Okay, they've seen it! I won $25,000! No regrets! (And anytime regret might start to creep in... I remind myself how hard it was to get on the show in the first place!)

Thursday, June 28, 2007

New Thing #95: Who Wants a Cheese Sandwich?

In September of 2006, I took two tests (pop culture version and regular version) to try to qualify for a shot on 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire.' I passed both tests and interviewed with producers. In October, I got a call to be on the show, and in November, I taped the show. Cut to today, nearly 8 months later, and the show has finally aired! So along with about 20 coworkers, I watched myself answer six questions correctly on 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire,' without using any lifelines until the horn sounded, meaning I will return tomorrow for the stunning conclusion. From here on, the questions get tougher and the stakes get higher. And my outfit, sadly, gets less cute.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

New Thing #94: Stock and bull

I've had a stock portfolio for years. I track my investments every day and actually enjoy reading up on drip funds and mutual funds and high-interest CDs and all that. A couple of times, I've actually watched stock tickers on tv to see if I can spot mine whizzing by. Why then, have I never thought to go manhandle the Stock Market bull sculpture in Battery Park? That thing brings presumed luck to hundreds of investors and brokers every day (though it was built as a nose-thumbing to the sorry state of the market in 1987). After checking my stocks today and seeing that they were mostly on the rise (despite yesterday's overall downturn in NASDAQ and NYSE), I rubbed the stock market bull sculpture for luck. Here's hoping my stocks keep up the bullishness!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

New Thing #93: Well Suited

As a non-fashion journalist, my work history has always involved super-casual dress codes. At the newspaper where I worked the night international desk, it was jeans and sneakers. At the catalogs I worked for and the magazine I'm at now, it's jeans with nice boots in the winter, casual dresses in the summer. I've never really had to dress up for work, and as much of a relief as that is, I've always thought it would be nice to be one of those important-looking ladies on the subway who's wearing a full suit. So today I wore a suit to work. I borrowed a light-colored, heat-friendly number from a fellow size-0 lass, added a cami and heels and a black bag and strode out of my apartment building feeling like I should go litigate for someone.
I felt so powerful I fired the guy sitting next to me on the subway.

Monday, June 25, 2007

New Thing #92: Putting the "fun" in "orfun"

This has been in the works for a couple of months (years, really) and tonight, a lot of different people's really hard work paid off. Amanda wrote and directed this kick-ass stage version of Jem and the Holograms, and tonight was the first (and very hopefully not last) performance. Tonight I played a British crippled orphan on crutches in a live-action version of a cartoon show (in front of a totally packed house). It was a minor role with awesome lines, and Amanda let me be as ridiculous as I wanted (though she did veto my idea to flash my knickers when I dance around at the end. Can't say I blame her).
Other people liked it too!

Also, here's some info that I remember from high school chemistry, about why a hologram is called that and not a holograph:

Sunday, June 24, 2007

New Thing #91: Deliver de letter

Two of the best books I read this year were by the same author. They took place in roughly the same place, over roughly the same periods of time, yet were completely different stories that resonated in completely different ways. They were The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. Everything about them made for pitch-perfect novels; the stories were compelling, the characters richly portrayed, the resolutions emotionally satisfying. I knew after finishing The Kite Runner in January that I would read everything this guy writes. I devoured Suns the week it came out and am chomping at the bit for whatever this physician-turned-authors comes out with in the future. I sort of want him to know that I think his writing is phenomenal and that his books are two of the best I've ever read. So I wrote author Khaled Hosseini a fan letter. I've never written a fan letter to anyone, even an author, even though I should have been inspired to do so after reading Dear Mr. Hinshaw in third grade. I'm not sure who I would have picked in those days- Hinshaw writer Beverly Cleary? Ann M. Martin? Judy Blume (who I did once clumsily babble to at a film screening a few years ago)? The ship has sailed on those ladies, but all that means is that my tastes have evolved (finally) so instead of thanking authors for their books about puberty and babysitting, I'm thanking new authors for books about the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and female oppression by the Taliban.

New Thing #90: Frank Lloyd Wrong

Not all New Things can be fun. Some have to be tedious, or else what do I learn? Well, if tedium is proportional to knowledge, tonight I know a lot. I built a house of cards. When I say "a," I mean "several attempts at a" and when I say "house" I mean "single-level, ranch-style house that the Golden Girls would have happily lived in." I used two decks of Gustav Klimt cards that my sister-in-law's father brought me from Austria a couple of years ago. Card house-building is HARD! Once you get your first level to stay upright, it is very difficult to get a second level going (hence my series of ranch houses). Kevin had a bit of success with multi-levelness, and I had an ephemeral upstairs on one of mine. Then I breathed wrong and obliterated it.

Friday, June 22, 2007

New Thing #89: Goo Sensation

I forget how we got on the subject, but the other night, Kevin was telling me about non-Newtonian substances, which are neither liquid nor solid. Oobleck, made out of cornstarch and water, is one of them. So tonight, with Kevin's help, I made and played with Oobleck. The websites we found all gave different instructions about the porportions, but it doesn't really matter. You can start with one part water and two parts cornstarch, then add any amount of either according to what you want to do with it. Being neither liquid nor solid means that a substance can be picked up in pieces, but as soon as it becomes stationary, it oozes back into a liqiud. If you throw it, it turns into liquid in the air. If you roll it between your palms, it's a solid until you stop rolling it, then falls in drips. It's fascinating and mesmerizing and made us feel like very smart 10-year-olds.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

New Thing #88: Action Figure

Today I saw this message from improv good guy Porter:
The landmark waste management plan that passed through the City Council last summer is at risk.
An amendment that would rebuild a recycling transfer station at the Gansevoort Peninsula pier is facing major opposition in Albany.
Without the transfer station, Manhattan will not be able to handle its waste responsibly and communities in the outer boroughs will suffer.
Take action today in support of the amendment and a cleaner, healthier New York City.

Taking action is easy when Environmental Defense has a letter template all set up for you and all you have to do is fill in the spaces, so today I took action for a cleaner New York City. I've lived here for six years, and I am all for making this awesome but occasionally smelly city a little more awesome and a little less smelly.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

New Thing #87: Wash it

I got home from work tonight, exhausted from putting in a 9-hour day even after having been at Jem and the Holograms rehearsal until 3am. I thought about taking a nap, but instead opted to read on my bed. I finished my book, and decided to do some laundry, including the bedding. I took everything down, started three loads and came back upstairs to call home. About 15 minutes and several fluctuations in blood pressure later, I had this IM conversation (if you're one of the people who just reads the bold parts, scroll down. There are a couple of them):

Me: hi! can you call my phone?

Lynn: sadly and hilariously no, because i lost my phone and am looking for somenoe to call it.

Me: oh no!

Me: I think I have washed mine.

Lynn: agh really?

Lynn: i know mine's in the house

Lynn: just not where.

Me: I checked the load I thought it might be in and it wasn't, but it could have fallen into one of the other ones. if it did, damage is done and it will be hard to find it until it's finished

Lynn: sorry. when i find my phone i will call yours. eventually

Lynn: i got a new one a week or 2 ago cause mine died dead

Lynn: phones r krazee

Me: ok. trying Pack and Purnell, neither answering **

Me: found mine!

Me: not in the wash!

Lynn: hoorah!

Lynn: wanna call mine? smiley face wink smile

Me: calling....

Lynn: thanks!

Lynn: i never would have found it, in laundry pile

Lynn: how

Lynn: why

Me: rang, then vm

Lynn: oh, us!

Me: HA

Me: I'm glad neither of us washed our phones.

Lynn: i didnt do laundry today, it was last night. but i have a pile on my dresser i set it down in about an hour ago

Lynn: im a looloo

Me: this is new thing today. I have never plunged my arm into a scalding hot washing machine load to find a cell phone that wasn't there

Lynn: eep gross. was it really scalding? my machine wont open when washing

Me: not, like, boiling burning. Hot enough I wouldn't touch it unless searching for a small child, animal, or phone.

Lynn: your phone is replaceable. your skin is... sort of.

Lynn: but not enough

Me: no damage. i don't think the soap liked my skin, but the heat didn't hurt it. More like an inadvisably hot bath, but still one you'd get into if you were pressed for time and very dirty.

Me: Sort of the temp they use when I get a pedicure and it takes me a couple of minutes to be able to stand it.

Lynn: yeah

**[ed note: Purnell eventually did answer, and called my phone, which I found in a purse that had been on my bed next to the phone, which I thought I had bundled up with the bedding I wanted to wash]

Today's new thing was not what I originally had planned. It turned into something of a public service for people who think they are more than occasionally idiots, to prove they're not the only ones. I had something else, something more intelligent and less accidental. I wrote about what I actually did do, because the whole time I was doing it I was thinking, 'if this turns out well, I am totally making this my new thing.' Had it turned out badly, the story never would have seen the light of day.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

New Thing #86: Dial M for 'My bad'

'Oops.' That almost sums up today's New Thing. 'Oops... but ok, yay!' sums it up better. I had something planned for lunch that involved a subway ride, some mad dashing, and another subway ride. And it would have worked out that way had I consulted a subway map. I stayed on the Q longer than I should have, and instead of ending up where I wanted to be, I ended up in Brooklyn. That's not even close to where I was headed. But as I stood on a Manhattan-bound platform after getting off Mistake Train, I was presented with something new: A train line which, despite having lived in New York for six years, I had never even seen in a station. So without hesitation, I took the M train. Many of you know that it's part of the obscure and short "brown line," which is rounded out by the J and Z trains. Nobody I know has ever needed to take it. I think it goes into an abyss and eventually falls off a cliff. At least, the Brroklyn-bound one does. I took the Manhattan-bound M for Magnificent train to Canal Street, where I connected to the Q and returned safely to work.

(oh, and it's official: Millionaire airs June 28. Check local listings if you must.)

Monday, June 18, 2007

New Thing #85: Define Intervention

As is the case with most modern pop-culture staples, I was late getting on the Wikipedia band wagon. I love information and minutiae and trivia, but I think it was the DIY aspect of Wikipedia that kept me at bay for so long. How could I trust the authenticity of the information? How do I know people aren't adding false information to be hilarious? When I got tapped to be on Millionaire in November, I suddenly started gorging on the site, and a couple of people helped with my info-binge by sending me random entries about random things I ought to know. After I taped the show, I saw Wiki more as a viable entity and less as a platform for people to mess with each other. Today I proved my faith in the system and I started an entry on Wikipedia. There's not much I know about that has never been entered before, so I wrote about what I did know.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

New Thing #84: Ant Bee

Sometimes, new things need to be little. Particularly on a day when I've stuffed myself so full of steak, chicken, corn, salad and tortilla chips that I all I really want to do is have someone roll me around the backyard in a wheelbarrow (which aside from the specific location would not actually be a new thing). So today, after gorging on summer culinary wonders in Connecticut, I sat on a rock in the middle of the front yard and watched two ants carry a bee carcass across a pile of wood chips. I must have stared at them for half an hour, while Kevin built a pagoda out of wood chips. Ants are amazing creatures, but for some reason I've never really sat and watched them before. To sit and watch them haul something so much bigger than they was pretty inspiring.And wood chips are not easy to navigate; they had to keep turning around and trying a new route, just to get from one piece to the next. If I had known exactly where they were going, I might have helped them out. On second thought, maybe I wouldn't have.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

New Thing #83: No Diving

This weekend, lovely crafter Erika had a booth in the Renegade Craft Fair in Williamsburg. They held it in McLarren Pool this year, which was an oddly perfect place for a ragtag clutch of crafters from every corner of creativity. It also meant that I walked around in a giant empty pool. I had wanted to do just that when my parents were building our (albiet not giant) pool in 1989. Some baloney about liability and insurance and all that.

Friday, June 15, 2007

New Thing #82: Stashio

Tonight I had dinner with Lynn and Katina. We hadn't all seen each other in a while, and we have a project coming up, so we met up for Ethiopian food at Awash in the East Village. A longtime 'opian fan, I am always touting the wonder of this amazing cuisine. Lynn had only had it once, and Katina had never had it, so it was fun to introduce her to the wonderful world of injera, tibs wat and eating with your hands.

I should probably mention that I wore a moustache all night.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

New Thing #81: Ball Bearing

In 2003, somebody I worked with gave me a bowling ball. I have no idea why he had it, but I took it. I kept it on my desk, where it once provided some long-lasting inspiration*. I left that job in 2004, and the bowling ball was so heavy I had to take it home in a cab. It sat on the floor of my bedroom until early 2005, when I moved and had the moving men take it to the new place. Then it sat on the floor of my living room until last March, when I moved again and had the moving men take it to the new place. Again. A couple of months ago, an improvisor I know asked if he could use it for a film shoot. The shoot got pushed back, but I figured that it's always useful to have a bowling ball in your midtown office, so today I carried my bowling ball to work. I lugged all 15 pounds of it from my apartment, to the subway, down 34th street and up to my 21st floor office, where it now resides on my windowseat.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

New Thing #80: Meauty Queens

New Yorkers are familiar with the scenario: 100 people crammed into the same space, sitting and standing side-by-side, yet none of them are speaking. It happens every time we commute. But what if 100 people were crammed into the same space, sitting and standing side-by-side... in a bar? I got the answer to that tonight when Maddy and I attended a quiet party. MJC sent me the info about this, and Maddy and I attended out of curiosity (though Maddy didn't know it until about a minute before we got there because I thought it would be an interesting surprise). We actually stayed for about 30 seconds before we left, got dinner and returned an hour later, by which time the place was hoppin'. Silently. People were clustered at the bar and couches and tables the way they usually would be, except that nobody was speaking and everybody was instead writing their conversations on index cards that they passed back and forth. As a novelty, the party was interesting and fun. As a social event, it was discomforting. I don't think I'd go again without Kevin or perhaps a large group of friends, but as a one-time thing it was interesting and, more importantly, New. (I am still taking suggestions!)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

New Thing #79: Jenderella

This is something everyone should do! It's aerobic and effective, not to mention humbling. After oticing that my bathroom floor, despite my every-other-daily Swiffering, could stand some TLC, I cleaned my bathroom floor with a toothbrush. My bathroom isn't humongous, so it only took a little more than half an hour. I spent part of that time listening to the penultimate episode of The Sopranos until I realized I really shouldn't miss anything if I wanted to be able to fully appreciate the final episode*, so I took a break and resumed my adorable chore when the show was over. There's something about the smallness of a toothbrush that let me focus on details the way I can't when I just give the floor a once-over with a Swiffer wet (I had to use a dry Swiffer before I started because as attentive as I was, I would need a giant toothbrush to get up all the hair I shed). There were a couple of splots on the floor from the egg-guacamole hair treatment in addition to toothpaste-and-soap related bathroom detritus. But now? Gone!

* Underwhelming. I could have kept cleaning.

Monday, June 11, 2007

New Thing #78: Knitty girl

This is something several of my friends have tried getting me to do for years, but which I outright refused to do, mostly because I thought it was funny. When Cat taught me to knit 5 years ago, she stuck with the basics with me: cast-on, knit-stitches, cast-off. The next step would have been purling, which I refused to do for really no other reason than humorous defiance. But today, at the suggestion of Angela, my bff and knitting wonderwoman, I learned how to purl. All it is, said my knitter friends, is the knit stitch in reverse. And not that I thought they weren't, but yes, my friends were right. And it's not hard, they were right about that too. I hadn't picked up knitting needles in over two years before tonight, and I can't bring myself to knit when it's warm. So perhaps in the fall, should I decide to get back into knitting, I'll have some fabulous ribbed scarves to show off!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

New Thing #77: Clear!

I can now officially save your life! I signed up for this a couple of months ago, and today along with Kevin I earned certification in CPR. I've always wanted to do this, and when I was in 5th grade, I took a 'babysitters' preparedness' class that taught CPR and other skills, but because of my age I couldn't get certified. Plus, in the 19 years that have passed, I've gotten pretty rusty, so a class seemed in order. Today's class covered how to assess an emergency, checking for 'signs of life,' Heimlich (though they don't call it that) for a conscious and unconscious adult, CPR and AED (automatic external defibrillator- CLEAR!). Kevin and I both rocked the multiple choice test at the end, and now are card-carrying life-savers.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

New Thing #76: Hair! Today!

I can't remember how old I was when I first heard that eggs were good for your hair. I must have been pretty young, because since I don't like to eat eggs, I figured I wouldn't want to put them on my hair. At some point I must have realized that your hair can't taste eggs, but I still never got around to putting them on my head to infuse my somewhat thin hair with a bit of protein. So today I made my own hair treatment with eggs and avocado. Eggs inherently still freak me out, but once it was out of my sight and on my hair, I began to imagine that the egg, along with the creamy moisturizing avocado, was doing my hair a world of good. I imagine that with a few more treatments, my hair will easily be able to beat up your hair.

Friday, June 8, 2007

New Thing #75: Helen of Destroy

I went to a Gotham Girls Roller Derby bout between The Queens of Pain and Bronx Gridlock. This is one bad-ass sport. While most of the women were, surprisingly, sort of wispy and lean, they were still tough as nails and threw their elbows around the way Italian chefs throw pizza dough. AND they all have cool names- Lemony Kicket, Cheapskate, Luna Impact, Beatrix Slaughter. Kevin and I came up with a few- Dru Burymore, Rollita, Deathalyzer, She Creepio, Spazpirin, Lady Harmalade. Even pal Kirk, who works for the league as an announcer, gets to call himself Professor Shovercraft. Ask me how the matches are actually scored and I'd have to refer you to the program. But what I can tell you is that I would never ever want to cross one of these ladies!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

New Thing #74: Bring in da noise

On the way home tonight after Blue Man, part of me was thinking, 'I sort of wish I'd done something cooler and more normal." But then the other part was all, "hey! If you did something cool and normal every day, this would be a very boring blog!" So I told the first part to can it, and will tell you with absolute pride that I did an interpretive dance to the sounds that the construction guys outside my 21st-floor office window were making. The video has some lulls in it, but there are fewer of them than in the first two videos I tried to make.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

New Thing #73: Nice to mitt you

Two years ago, I stopped blogging on the IRC and started my "regular" blog, How to Be a Person, here on blogspot*. Last year, I installed a statistics counter, mostly for fun (and a little bit to counterspy on my readers). On Sunday, How to Be a Person got its 15,000th view since the day I installed the counter. By doing a bit of detective work, I deduced that the 15,000th viewer was college friend, blogger and New Thing suggestor Brian. I made a comment on his blog joking that in honor of his landmark pageview, I would send him a free oven mitt (a business perk Navin Johnson used as a ruse in The Jerk.)
Well, I am a woman of my word.
Today I sent Brian a free oven mitt for being the 15,000th visitor to my blog. (Had I planned this out a little more, I wouldn't have immediately blabbed to Brian, and it would have been a surprise when he got it.) It couldn't just be an ordinary oven mitt, because Brian isn't an ordinary guy. I did a bit of research, and found what seemed like the perfect Brian-style oven mitt (and matching apron!). I realize that I'm writing this post as if Brian isn't going to read it, but since he's been one of this blog's biggest supporters, I'm pretty sure he is reading it. So Brian, if you would please not click on this link, I'd appreciate it (and I'll know if you do!). I really want to show everybody else what you're getting, and I want there to still be an element of surprise for you.

*Blogspot's spellcheck doesn't recognize this word!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

New Thing #72: Divine Vixenish Females

Yesterday I got this email from fabulous Robyn, who on more than one occasion has provided invaluable fashion tips, advice and shopping companionship:
have you ever gotten up at the crack of dawn and waited in line to get into the first day of a sample sale?
DVF is having a sample sale starting tomorrow at 9am...I think I'm going to go ...I usually get in line around 7:45am or so...

As a matter of fact I had not; I usually mosey into these things a couple of days after they start, thereby missing the early-morning mayhem (and a lot of good stuff). So today I got up at the crack of dawn and waited in line to get into the first day of a sample sale. I got there a few minutes before 8am, and Robyn and I whiled away the next hour with pleasant chatter. Meanwhile, an ARMY was swelling behind us, and by the time the doors opened at 9, there must have been 400 women in line. Once we got in, I lost Robyn in a sea of well-mannered but dead-serious first crackers, women with strategies who had memorized the sale's floor plan. I emerged thirty minutes later, not only unscathed but unscathed and in possession of a true DVF authentic wrap dress, something I have never owned and which is so classic that I'll be able to pass it onto my daughter some day.

If you can't handle this... sleep in.

Monday, June 4, 2007

New Thing #71: Viva la Resistahnce

Today's original plan fell through, because when I got to the place where it was supposed to happen, the building was closed. I was unphased, because the original plan was sort of boring, and because I happen to have a creative boyfriend with a lot of fun sci-tech gadgets.
So today I used a Digital Multimeter to measure the electrical resistance of batteries, myself, Kevin, and a length of wire. First I measured the voltage of the batteries from Kevin's smoke detector (which we knew worked because I had set it off earlier while toasting almonds on the stove). Two of them were strong, one with a voltage of 1.212 and the other 1.218, and one of them was slightly weaker, with .985 volts. For comparison, a battery when it's new is 1.5 volts.
Then we measured ourselves by gripping the ends of the wires attached to the multimeter (after Kevin assured me that this tool can't electrocute you). My voltage was 25 mV, Kevin's was 33 (apparently, the key factor in humans is flesh, and I'm not particularly ample in that area).
The last experiment was to see whether length between the two wires affected its resistance. Kevin measured out 75" of picture wire, which at its full length registered 1.1 ohms, and at half its length .5. A microphone impedance matching transformer registered 1.455 kilo ohms, and a quarter measured .1.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

New Thing #70: Yes we can!

As a lifelong lover, listener, student and performer of music, I am never one to turn down a unique sonic opportunity. In the last 9 days, I've seen a live concert by an 80s band, the New York Philharmonic, improvisational jazz and a guy playing 'Unchained Medlody' on the saw (as I write this, I am watching Broadway: The American Musical rebroadcast on PBS). So why not round it off with something musical and awesome that's totally new? Today I spent the afternoon at the 26-hour Bang on a Can Marathon at the World Financial Center. Described in the program as "a celebration of music that slips through the cracks," the marathon boasted an impressive program of world music, contemporary instrumentalizations and a performance by the Young People's Choir of New York (a group which, as those who know anything about my musical nerd background might understand, tugged particularly hard at my heartstrings). One of the more amazing things I've seen, not just at this event but overall, was a drum-and-gong trio whose performance consisted of a single sustained note, which began as a barely audible hum, then crescendoed into an ear-splitting wail which nearly blew off the glass WFC roof. Not one person in the 1,000-person+ audience made a sound during the 4-minute piece. Half of them were covering their ears, but seemed completely entranced. I mentioned to the Blue Man Group band member next to me that I was sure I'd achieved a new level of awareness. I lost it, but it will be back.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

New Thing #69: Lunch lady

Had I lived in New York in the 20s, I would have experienced today's New Thing quite a few times. It's nostalgia, novelty and two entrepreneurs which allowed me to experience it today. I ate lunch in an automat. According to Wikipedia, automats were particularly popular in larger cities until the 50s, when the advent of the drive-thru made them practically obsolete; the few that remained in New York until the end of the 70s were just kitschy throwbacks. Then they disappeared in the U.S. until last year, when two enterprising guys opened Bamn! on St. Mark's Place.
While visiting it for the first (but not last!) time today, I had a $2 teri burger from the old-timey machine and a soft-serve vanilla ice-cream, served to me by a decidedly not old-timey lady for free, since I had taken a survey. Friend and repeat Bamn! customer Kirk had a corndog, his Automat fave.

Nearly 100 years ago, I would have been her:

Friday, June 1, 2007

New Thing #68: tHe BistrO

Today's New Thing is something I will do again, because the person who suggested it wasn't available to do it today. And because it was fun and relaxing and awesome (and cathartic). But circumstances being what they were, I did this thing today with someone else. I had lunch in the HBO commissary. Well, I got my lunch there; I ate it outside in Bryant Park whilst getting misted with fountain water and gabbing with Amanda. I also got to meet kind reader Sophia, a coworker of Amanda's who has given me some great suggestions.
The caf, cleverly titled tHe BistrO, is nothing less than what you'd expect for a fancy cable tv office building. They had a sushi bar, sandwich bar, salad bar, a grill, and even an upscale fish-or-chicken section complete with mango salsa! I got the fish and chips, because I am a sucker for tartar sauce. (I don't have photos because it would have seemed obnoxious to be at someone else's workplace and run around with my camera like a tourist.)